Alaska's red king crab fishery is finally kicking into full swing after returning furloughed federal workers issued the necessary permits.

Mark Gleason with the Seattle-based trade association Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers says boats began heading into the Bering Sea from Alaska's Dutch Harbor Thursday night.

That's less than 24 hours after the return of workers who assign individual fishing quotas for the Bristol Bay fishery. The National Marine Fisheries Service workers were among those furloughed by the government's partial shutdown that ended earlier this week after 16 days.

The multimillion-dollar harvest featured on the Discovery Channel reality show, "Deadliest Catch," had been sidelined since the official Tuesday opening.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees NMFS, says some permits for designated crab-quota monitors were still being processed Friday.